/ / Santa Maria Capua Vetere: photo, description Santa Maria Capua Vetere)

Santa Maria Capua Vetere: photo, description Santa Maria Capua Vetere)

Santa Maria Capua Vetere, the medieval town in the province of Caserta. In prehistoric times, this land was home to several settlements, related to the culture of Villanova, which was later expanded by the Etruscans. In the 4th century BC Capua was the largest city on the territory of the Peninsula after Rome. However it was expected the fate of many other Italian cities it was destroyed by vandals, conquered by the Lombards, then in the 9th century again destroyed by the Saracens. The surviving inhabitants fled and founded modern Capua, on the site of the ancient river port Casilinum.

The town known today as Santa Maria Capua Vetere, slowly formed around the old Christian basilicas of Santa Maria Maggiore, San Pietro in Corporate and Sant'erasmo in Capitolo. It with these religious buildings were small settlements, and later joined in the commune. Until 1861, the year it was called Santa Maria Maggiore - even here was located the summer residence of king Robert of Anjou.

Today, the main landmark of Santa Maria Capua Vetere is the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, founded, according to legend, in the 5th century by Pope Simoom. Once, this Church had only one nave, but in 787, the year it was extended by order of the Lombard ruler of Benevento Arakis II. And in 1666, the year it was added two side chapels. The current Baroque appearance of the Basilica received in 1742-1788-m years.

Among other monuments of history and architecture in Santa Maria Capua Vetere is called the ancient Roman amphitheatre campano, its shape reminiscent of the Colosseum, the archaeological Museum of Antica Capua, the gladiators Museum and the Garibaldi Museum, Hadrian Arch and well-preserved Mithraeum, discovered in 1922, the year - on one of its walls you can see a mural of the 2nd century BC with a depiction of the goddess Mithra.